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Amnesty International Issues Urgent Action Call Against Lahore’s Smog

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Amnesty International has issued an ‘Urgent Action’ call against the smog in Pakistani Punjab’s capital of Lahore, urging its supporters around the world to write to Pakistani authorities to take urgent action to protect people’s health and lives.

In a statement issued by the body, Amnesty International observed that the air quality in Lahore had been categorised as ‘hazardous’ for around half a month, adding that the city had not witnessed a single day of ‘healthy’ air this year, with the Air Quality Index level never falling below 100.

It further noted that the annual ‘smog season’, between the months of October and February, had become a regular feature in the lives of Lahore’s residents. The statement added that the smog was a result of poor fuel quality, uncontrolled emissions and cop burning.

The statement also cited a report by a medical journal, Lancet, saying that that poor air quality was the cause of more than 310,000 deaths each year.

Amnesty International further stated that health was a key human right, and was recognised in various treaties that Pakistan was a party to, adding that failure to ensure it was tantamount to human rights violation.

The rights body said that it had taken the step to issue an ‘Urgent Action’ call in order to encourage its global supporters to write to Pakistani authorities so that they stopped downplaying the crisis.

Amnesty International uses ‘Urgent Action’ calls as a campaigning tool to mobilise support internationally for victims of human rights violations.

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